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First Reading
Mass During the Night (Isaiah 9: 1-6)
Mass at Dawn (Isaiah: 62:11-12)

1.“For a child is born to us, a son is given us. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” What do these names mean to you? Would you expect to see someone named God-Hero born in a stable? Who is born in stable-like places today? Give an example.

2. “They shall be called a holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, and you shall be called ‘Frequented,’ a city that is not forsaken.” Why are they called holy? Why is this a time of universal goodwill? Is this grace offered to all people? What does this mean to you in your daily life?

Second Reading

Mass During the Day (Hebrews 1:1-6)

1. “In time past, God spoke in partial and various ways.” Name a partial way God has spoken. What are some of the various ways God speaks to you? Do you look for God in the lowly events of your life as well as the great ones?

2. What does St. Paul mean when he says that the Son is the very “imprint of the Father’s being”? What would any of us look like if we were the imprint of Christ? Have you been acquainted with Christ lately?

Mass During the Night (Luke 2:1-14)
Mass at Dawn (Luke 2:15-12)

1. If you wanted to find God today where might you start looking? Do you think the shepherds were the same people after their experience? Did they understand what the angels said when they went and found Mary and Joseph and the baby in the stable? What enables you to see the divine in the ordinary?

2. In his homily on Christmas Eve, Pope Francis said the Jesus is the meaning of life and history, and he pitched his tent among us. Why does he say the shepherds were the first to see this “tent”?

The shepherds were the first to see this “tent,” to receive the news of Jesus’ birth. They were the first because they were among the last, the outcast. And they were the first because they were awake, keeping watch in the night, guarding their flocks. The pilgrim is bound by duty to keep watch and the shepherds did just that. …

To us the Lord repeats, “do not be afraid!” (Lk 2:10). As the angels said to the shepherds: “do not be afraid!” And I also repeat to all of you: do not be afraid! Our Father is patient, he loves us, he gives us Jesus to guide us on the way which leads to the promised land. Jesus is the light who brightens the darkness. He is mercy: our Father always forgives us. He is our peace. Amen.

Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord
December 24, 2013
Vatican Basilica

Anne Osdieck

Art by Martin (Steve) Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go